When I set out and started Fine Line Automation in November 2008, I had wanted to do 2 things: Build cool stuff and make an impact in the world. During the summer of 2008, I had engineered a CNC machine to do some of the robotics projects I had floating around in my head. Back then, there were no low priced, entry level machines in the market. The cheapest machines were $10,000+ and I just wasn’t in that market. The machine worked out well and was cheap enough to be affordable. I was making cool projects and still contemplating how I was going to make my dent in the universe.

So I decided the best way to make an impact is to go into business selling parts and kits. I started off in my tiny 1 car garage and had a local machine shop do most of the machining back then. Slowly everything grew as we ramped up into full kit production and added electronics and other accessories. My wife Jamie started helping make and pack kits. We fumbled around in the dark for a while while I learned how to make stuff and run a business.

Which brings us today. Over time, my goal of making an impact on the world was refined into helping people grow and build their dreams. Everyone has dreams they want to achieve but few ever realize these dreams. For some, it’s making cool stuff. For people in developing countries, the dream may be not having to struggle everyday just to survive. It’s my mission and Fine Line Automation’s mission to help that happen. Here’s what we have accomplished so far:

  • We have shipped out over 1,000 CNC Machines to customers so far. Those machines are being used by people to support their dream business, build dream projects, and more.
  • Since mid-2014, we have starting donating $100 for every kit sold to the Africa Oasis Project. This project installs wells into African communities that have no access to clean water. These people often walk 5-10 miles to get water from unclean sources like rivers and stagnant ponds. It takes about $2,500 to build a well. We have funded wells for 3 communities; they now have an onsite source of clean water.
  • We have started down the road of implementing lean manufacturing in our facility. I believe that any business needs to be sustainable. For the community. For the environment. For the people that make it up. Lean provides us a framework to eliminate the wasteful practices and we intend to keep implementing it. So far, we are at 500 improvements and counting.

I would like to close with a enourmous Thank You for everyone that has supported the company. The people that have bought product from us, supplied us with product, mentored us along the way, and encouraged us along the way. A few years in we had a tough period and without your generousity, we would not be able to continue making the impact we want to make.

Nathan Lowrie
Founder, Fine Line Automation